Artificial Sweeteners and Other Sugar Substitutes

Most Americans eat the equivalent of twenty teaspoons of sugar on a regular day. The sources of these sugary products are cereals, snacks, sodas, chocolates, coffee, etc. Now for an average person, sugar might not be that injurious, unless the sugary diets you take start keeping you from taking a healthy nutritious diet. So people who want to lose weight or have to be careful about their blood sugar because of diabetes, this amount of sugar can be lethal for their health. But most of us just can’t get enough of sugary foods and snacks, we want the taste of sugar but not its many unhealthy effects. This is where artificial sweeteners come in. Artificial sweeteners are an excellent sugar replacement. They are sweeteners with a low calorie count, and according to the International Food Information Council, are safe to use.

Let’s take a look at five artificial sweeteners that are approved by the FDA:

  • Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)
  • D-Tagatose (Sugaree)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet or Equal)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett)

While there are plenty of advantages of artificial sweeteners, there are some disadvantages, too. Following are three disadvantages of the consumption of artificial sweeteners.

  • May Cause Diseases

According to a few studies, some diseases are caused by excessive use of artificial sweeteners. This also includes the possibility of cancer. But artificial sweeteners have been declared safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.

  • Ingestion of Chemicals

Artificial sweeteners are usually man-made chemicals and can be harmful to the human body as human body often fails to handle high dosage of chemicals.

  • Increase Sugar Cravings

Since we know that artificial sweeteners aren’t really sugar, we tend to consume more of them than we would sugar. Even more so, they do not really satisfy our sugar cravings, and may lead to overeating in order to fulfill our dose of sugar.

Besides artificial sweeteners, there are plenty of sugar substitutes that could be used as a replacement for sugar. Let’s take a look at a few of those:

Agave Nectar

A derivative of the same plant as tequila, agave nectar tastes quite like honey and is perfect for iced or hot tea. But you shouldn’t take too much of this sugar substitute due to its dangerously high fructose content.

Maple Syrup

The benefits of maple syrup are plenty, and it is used as a sugar substitute in a lot of countries, especially Canada. Maple syrup contains over 50 antioxidants and is obtained from plant’s sap. You can use it as an ingredient in homemade granola or spread it over waffles.

Honey

Honey is an excellent replacement and contains plenty of antioxidants. It could be added to tea or added into homemade salads.

Applesauce

You can swap the exact amount of sugar with applesauce and it will taste just as fantastic, maybe even better. The natural sweetness from a Fuji apple or Golden Delicious is a perfect treat once you’ve had dinner.

Cinnamon

You can always spice up your cup of tea or coffee with just the right quantity of cinnamon in it. It adds spice and a subtle sugary taste to your treat, and contains almost no calories. Cinnamon is also known to boost immunity.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

You can mix some unsweetened cocoa powder in a glass of hot water or warm skimmed milk. It satisfies your sugar cravings and adds flavor to your treat.

Most of the modified food starch now comes with reduced sugar. Modified starches like modified tapioca starch and modified corn starch have their sugar content removed or reduced through chemical alteration.

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